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Black Sunday (1960)

La maschera del demonio (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 15 February 1961 (USA)
Trailer
3:27 | Trailer

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A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Ennio De Concini (screenplay), Mario Serandrei (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Steele ... Princess Asa Vajda / Katia Vajda (as Barbara Steel)
John Richardson ... Dr. Andrej Gorobec / Dr. Andreas Gorobec
Andrea Checchi ... Dr. Choma Kruvajan / Dr. Thomas Kruvajan
Ivo Garrani Ivo Garrani ... Prince Vajda
Arturo Dominici ... Igor Javutich / Javuto
Enrico Olivieri Enrico Olivieri ... Constantine Vajda
Antonio Pierfederici Antonio Pierfederici ... Priest
Tino Bianchi Tino Bianchi ... Ivan - Manservant
Clara Bindi Clara Bindi ... Innkeeper
Mario Passante ... Nikita - Coachman
Renato Terra Renato Terra ... Boris - Stablehand
Germana Dominici Germana Dominici ... Sonya - Innkeeper's Daughter
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Storyline

In the Seventeenth Century, in Maldavia, Princess Asa Vajda and her lover Javutich (Arturo Dominici) are killed by the local population, accused of witchcraft. A mask of Satan is attached to their faces. Princess Asa curses her brother, promising revenge to his descents. The body of Javutich is buried outside the cemetery, and the coffin of Princess Asa is placed in the family's tomb with a cross over it for protection. Two hundred years later, Professor Thomas Kruvajan and his assistant, Dr. Andre Gorobec, are going to a congress in Russia and they accidentally find the tomb. Dr. Thomas breaks the cross, releasing the evil witch. When they are leaving the place, Dr. Andre meets Princess Katia Vajda, descendant of Princess Asa, and falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Katia is threatened by the witch, who wants to use her body to live again. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once every 100 years the undead of hell terrorize the world in an orgy of stark horror See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

15 February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Sunday See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Galatea Film, Jolly Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A young girl is sent out at night to milk a cow when Javuto (portrayed by Arturo Dominici) claws his way out of the grave nearby. The young girl is played by Dominici's real life daughter Germana Dominici. See more »

Goofs

When Katia plays the piano, her fingerings don't match the piano music on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

[Andre expresses regret that he and superior, Dr. Kruvajan, will be late and miss the opening address at a medical conference in St. Petersburg]
Dr. Thomas Kruvajan: My son, how long have you been a doctor?
Dr. Andre Gorobec: Three years. I've been with you for two.
Dr. Thomas Kruvajan: When you've been in this business as long as I have, you'll learn to take the speeches at all of these medical conferences with a grain of salt.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For "The Mask of Satan," the English language version prepared in Italy, Barbara Steele's name is listed as "Barbara Steel" on the trailer and on the credits of the film itself. See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was initially rejected for cinema in 1961 by the BBFC and passed 7 years later with cuts as "Revenge of the Vampire". The initial video release by Stablecane in 1986 (as "Black Sunday") featured the shorter re-edited U.S print which was missing around 3 mins of violence including cuts to the burning of Vajda, the eye gouging, and the infamous mask/branding scene plus some character changes (Javuto became Asa's servant in the US version). The U.K. version from Redemption Video (titled "The Mask of Satan") is the original, uncut, English-language version prepared by the producers. It contains the original music score, more mature dubbing, and contains violence edited from the U.S. version. It is also letterboxed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blood and Black Lace (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Gothic brilliance
18 March 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

The screenplay is hackneyed ,the story has been told told and told again...

And however,Bava's film is a sparkling diamond.How come?The direction of course,the cinematography absolutely incredibly breath-taking,and Barbara Steele ,the par excellence Gothic heroine:her fans will rejoice for she plays two parts here! Bava has no match when it comes to use the light the settings and the soundtrack.It's a black and white work and had it been filmed in color it would not have been better.From the gloomy family vaults to the forest where danger awaits on the young peasant girl to the doomed castle where a family tries to fight against a mysterious curse.

The carriage which takes the doctor to the mansion and its coachman reminds me of Murnau's "Nosferatu" .No less.


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